How Strict is Spirit Airlines with Checked Baggage Size?: airport suitcases

Flying with Spirit Airlines can be a budget-friendly way to travel, but it comes with its own set of rules and regulations, particularly when it comes to the size of your checked baggage. If you’ve ever wondered, “How strict is Spirit Airlines with checked baggage size?” you’re in the right place.

In this guide, we’ll explore Spirit Airlines’ baggage policies in detail, provide real-life examples and insights from experts and travelers, and ensure you’re well-prepared for your next Spirit Airlines flight.

Read on for more details…

How strict is Spirit Airlines with checked baggage size?

The answer is quite clear: Spirit Airlines is indeed stringent when it comes to checked baggage size. To avoid any issues or extra charges, it’s essential to understand their rules and ensure your luggage complies.

Understanding Spirit Airlines’ baggage size limits

How Strict is Spirit Airlines with Checked Baggage Size?: Spirit Airlines Checked luggage size

Spirit Airlines has clear rules for checked baggage dimensions and weight. The total size of the checked baggage, including handles and wheels, should not exceed 62 linear inches (158 cm). This measurement is the combined total of the bag’s length, width, and height.

There’s also a weight limit. The weight of the checked baggage should not be over 40 pounds (18.1 kg). Bags weighing more than this will be marked as oversized/overweight and will attract extra charges. These rules apply to both domestic and international flights.

Consequences of exceeding luggage size limit

Thinking about pushing those checked baggage size limits? Well, it’s worth considering what could happen if you do. If your checked baggage exceeds the size limits set by Spirit Airlines, you may face the following consequences:

  • Overweight/Oversize Fees: You’ll be hit with additional fees. Spirit Airlines charges fees for both overweight and oversized For example, bags weighing 41-50 pounds will cost an extra $79, and those between 51-100 lbs will be an added $125.
  • Denied Boarding: In extreme cases, if your baggage significantly exceeds the size limits, they may deny boarding or ask you to repackage your items. Specifically, Spirit Airlines won’t accept bags heavier than 100 pounds (45 kg) or larger than 80 linear inches (203 cm) in total dimensions, as mentioned on their website.

What travelers are saying about Spirit Airlines baggage policy

How Strict is Spirit Airlines with Checked Baggage Size?: airport staff with traveler's luggage

In my quest to understand Spirit Airlines’ approach to checked baggage policies, I’ve delved into the insights shared by travelers and experts.

What I found was a resounding consensus that Spirit Airlines takes its baggage rules quite seriously. Let me walk you through the findings, supported by quotes and examples from those who have experienced it firsthand.

Traveler experiences and insights…

To kick things off, let’s hear from Marnae, an international traveler and a seasoned flight hacker. Marnae’s take on Spirit’s baggage policy is crystal clear: “They’re pretty strict. You’ll notice that they have baggage sizers all over the airport to catch anyone trying to bring a larger bag on board and charge them extra.”

To further substantiate the airline’s stance, let’s turn to Chrish Hemswarth, a contributor on Quora. Chrish confirms that Spirit Airlines rigorously checks bag sizes and enforces its rules with diligence.

In no uncertain terms, he states, “Yes, Spirit Airlines does check bag size. They have strict rules regarding baggage size and weight, and they enforce these rules at the gate and during check-in.”  So there’s not  getting away with a big bag.

I also explored traveler discussions on platforms like TripAdvisor to gauge whether Spirit Airlines allows any leeway with checked bag sizes.

The consensus among responses echoes the sentiment expressed by experts and travelers alike: it’s advisable for travelers to meticulously adhere to the airline’s rules and regulations to prevent potential complications or unexpected charges during their journeys.

This cautious approach is seen as a way to avoid potential issues during their journeys.

The economics behind strict policies by budget airlines…

To shed light on the reasoning behind Spirit Airlines’ stringent stance, John Whitehead, a retired airline manager and Quora contributor, offers valuable context.

He explains that low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines heavily depend on ancillary fees, including those related to baggage, to boost their revenue. It becomes clear that these fees play a pivotal role in the business model of budget airlines.

Now, what does a Professional Travel Planner have to say? Well, Jay Mandelker points out that Spirit Airlines ranks among the strictest when it comes to baggage policies.

He highlights that discount airlines like Spirit, in their pursuit of cost-saving measures, tend to levy extra fees on top of their low fares. This, he notes, is a fundamental aspect of their business model, and passengers should expect additional charges.

One noteworthy distinction highlighted by traveler and Forbes Advisor contributor Katie Seemann is the weight limit imposed by Spirit Airlines. The airline maintains a 40-pound weight limit for checked bags, significantly lower than the allowances offered by most other carriers.

Major airlines such as United, American, Delta, and Southwest typically permit bags weighing up to 50 pounds before applying overweight and oversized bag fees. This disparity underscores Spirit’s strict approach to both baggage size and weight restrictions.

My Verdict…

While there may be anecdotal accounts of passengers occasionally pushing the boundaries and managing to bypass the rules with slightly larger bags, this practice is far from reliable.

Its success can vary depending on the airport and staff. Therefore, taking such risks is not what I would recommended.

In summary, my research indicates that Spirit Airlines has indeed earned its reputation for having stringent checked baggage size policies.

Travelers are well-advised to exercise vigilance, meticulously adhere to the airline’s guidelines, and be prepared to follow its rules to the letter to sidestep unexpected charges or complications during their travels.

Tips for complying with Spirit Airlines’ baggage size rules

Now that you understand how strict Spirit Airlines can be, let’s explore some practical tips to ensure you comply with their luggage sizes and weight regulations:

  • Measure your bag: Before heading to the airport, measure your baggage carefully, including handles and wheels, to ensure it fits within the 62 linear inch limit.
  • Pack light: To avoid overweight fees, pack only what you need. Consider wearing heavier items, like coats or boots, instead of packing them.
  • Pay bag fees early: If you know you’ll need more luggage, pay for your checked bags during the booking process or online before your flight. It’s often cheaper than paying at the airport.
  • Check Spirit’s Bag-O-Tron: Consider Spirit’s Bag Options: When booking your ticket, think about purchasing the appropriate baggage allowance that suits your needs. Spirit Airlines offers a “Bag-O-Tron” service that calculates the cost of baggage based on various factors, including your travel dates and destination.
  • Stick to the baggage size and weight limits: Stick to the airline’s maximum baggage size of  62 linear inches (length + width + height) and weight limit of 40 pounds. They will charge fees for bags that exceed 40 pounds (18.1 kilograms). To keep your costs down, aim to pack lightly and efficiently.


Does Spirit measure your bag?

Yes, Spirit Airlines does measure passengers’ bags to ensure they comply with their specific baggage size and weight requirements.

They have a designated area at the airport check-in or gate where passengers can place their carry-on bags to ensure they meet the specified dimensions. If your bag doesn’t meet these dimensions, you may be required to pay an additional fee or check it at the gate.

Is Spirit strict about checked bag weight?

Yes, Spirit Airlines has a specific weight limit of 40 pounds (18.14 kilograms) for each checked bag. If your bag weighs more than this, you will be required to pay an overweight baggage fee.

What is the size of checked luggage for international flights?

The typical size for checked luggage on international flights is a maximum of 62 inches in total dimensions (length + width + height) and a weight limit of around 50 pounds per bag. However, specific rules may vary by airline, so please check with your airline for their baggage policies and any associated fees.

What happens if your checked bag is overweight Spirit?

If your checked bag on Spirit Airlines exceeds the weight limit, you will be charged an overweight baggage fee. The fee typically starts at $79 for bags weighing between 41 and 50 pounds, and it increases for heavier bags.

How strict is Spirit with personal items?

Spirit’s personal item size limit is 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm), including handles and wheels. They are known for enforcing this size limit rigorously, and if your bag exceeds these dimensions, you may be required to pay an additional fee or check it as a carry-on bag. This is their only free baggage allowance, as carry-ons and checked bags need to be paid for.

Does Spirit Airlines charge for checked bags?

Yes, this Budget airline charges fees for checked bags. The specific fees for checked bags depend on things like where you’re going, when you book, and if you’re in their Saver$ Club. But, be ready to pay up to $53 for your checked bag.

Can I bring oversized items as checked baggage?

Certainly! You are allowed to bring oversized items when flying with Spirit Airlines. Bags weighing between 41 and 50 lbs, as well as special items measuring over 80 linear inches (203 cm), are classified as overweight and incur additional fees.

How can I avoid baggage fees?

So, does Spirit Airlines really enforce strict rules for checked baggage?

Spirit Airlines does, in fact, adhere strictly to its checked baggage size policies. It’s crucial to understand these rules, follow the size limits, and avoid extra fees to ensure a hassle-free travel experience.

Don’t worry; it’s not as challenging as it may seem. Here are the key points to remember:

  • Spirit Airlines has precise size and weight limits for checked bags.
  • The maximum size for your checked luggage is 62 linear inches (length + width + height), with a maximum weight of 40 pounds (18.1 kg).
  • Anything exceeding these size and weight limits will incur Spirit Airlines baggage fees for overweight and oversized luggage, ranging from $79 to $150 (current pricing at the time of writing).

Remember to measure your bags, pack wisely, and utilize available tools to estimate fees. By doing so, you can enjoy your cheap flights on Spirit Airlines flight without any unexpected baggage-related surprises. Safe travels!

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